As tensions between the United States and Iran further rise, the Iranian government continues to make hostile shows of force, this time claiming Iranian authorities have captured seventeen spies working for the CIA.
On Monday, a senior Iranian intelligence officer told reporters in Tehran that Iran has detained CIA-trained Iranian nationals who were attempting to gather information on the country's military and nuclear capabilities.
Fars (a “semiofficial” news agency of Iran, according to NPR) asserts that many of the CIA assets will be sentenced to death, with the apparent Director-General of the Intelligence Ministry's Counterespionage Department saying “The rulings for these spies have been issued and a number of them will be executed as corruptors on Earth.”
Iranian news outlets “published images it said showed CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies,” According to Reuters.
Seemingly attempting to rub salt into the wound, if there even is one, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alav said Sunday that a documentary on the arrest of the alleged spies would be broadcast on Iranian television.
The Iranian government remains ambiguous on how many alleged US-linked spies will be sentenced to death, as President Trump proclaims the stories coming from Iran are just that -- stories.
“The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do,” Trump said in a tweet. “Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!”
The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2019
Trump apparently added in later meetings with reporters that he was finding it increasingly difficult to make any sort of deal with Iran.